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My herd.

I’ve always been a big fan of animals and have had pets most of my life.  When I was little there was the standard string of carnival goldfish, a parakeet, a gecko (that phase didn’t last too long), hamsters, in addition to Snickers the cat (that ended up living for 20 years!) and Comet, my Golden Retriever.  As I grew up and eventually moved away from home for college and then later to start my career, I knew that I would always have pets.


You’re allergic to what?!?!

After 27 years of life my body decided that it was going to be allergic to a bunch of foods.  Let’s just say the process of figuring this out was not an easy one and involved a number of trips to the ER, my doctor, various specialists and more tests then I care to count.  In the process, however, I did find out a lot of things that I didn’t have – lyme disease, cancer, celiac, diabetes – making this whole thing a blessing and a curse.

After a couple of scary instances where my throat started to close after eating I finally visited my local, friendly allergist for a round of tests.

The results?  No more corn, carrots, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, almonds, peanuts, oranges, cantalope, rye, and a few other things.

Huh?  How am I supposed to eat anything? Those things are a) tasty and b) in EVERYTHING.

After some adjustments and struggles, I’ve found that the best way to manage this is to cook for myself.  This was kind of a huge shift, since I used to cook on occassion, but never a lot of stuff from scratch or involving fresh, local items.

That has changed.

I have become a foodie.  People like and request items from me.  I’ve gotten creative and daring.  I’ve found that I have skills and a decent palate, even though I’m limited in ingredients. (seriously, look at the ingredient list on stuff you buy at the store – corn is everywhere!)

Cooking has also been cathartic.  There’s something neat about taking a pile of stuff that you buy at the Farmer’s Market and local co-op and turning it into a fantastic meal.  It’s soothing to the soul.

I hope to share some of the experiences I’ve had – along with the recipes – of my culinary adventures. I also hope to shine the light on what it is like to be someone living with (and having friends with) some pretty unique eating challenges.


Minnesota’s Capital City – the Good Twin

For the last 3.5 years I’ve called St. Paul, Minnesota my home, and it truly has become that – my home, my port in the storm, my happy place.  One of the best parts of this city is the Capitol.  It is a beautiful building and one of my favorite places to take pictures of in the city. Everyday on my drive to work, I see it in the distance and always am in awe of it.

Below are a sample of some of the photos I’ve taken of it.  You can find more at my Flickr.  Let me know your thoughts – what you like, don’t like, etc.


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Gratuitous first post

I’ve been wanting to find an outlet for various parts of my life that aren’t related to work or politics – so I’ve taken the plunge and created this blog.  Expect to see a lot of things about my experiences in cooking, being a dog owner, my attempts at photography, and in being a first-time homeowner.

Life is a journey and here’s a glimpse into my small part of it.